Saturday, November 27, 2010

Phones shift

Hello family,

I wanted to let you all know that we are thinking about stopping our home land line and home internet service. We'll keep our cell phones--comment if you don't know my number. :-) The home number that will go bye-bye is 940.387.4682.

Not having the internet and netflix will be really different, but we are thinking that it will be good for us to not have that constant instant pull. And we'll keep our email and blog addresses the same. I'll be using my email every day at work, of course.

Bless you all! And talk to you soon. :-)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wish you were here!

Happy Thanksgiving, all you people we love! I thought I'd make a little video to show you what is going on at our house today. We're waiting for our friends to arrive, and I'm about to start in with the stuffing, creamed corn, and mashed potatos. Bless you this year!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Oil Spill

This week has been very interesting. I realized last Sunday that the date was 10-10-10. 10 is the number for government, and all week at prayer people have been talking about "the new administration." From what I'm seeing, "the new administration" means that the Holy Spirit is doing things differently than before. I had a conversation today with a lady on staff, and she was talking about how the counseling/inner healing/deliverance ministry was starting to look different. The old ways of doing things just didn't work the same, and the change was in a new reliance on the Holy Spirit to tell them what to minister about, rather than following a formula, or questionaaire.

This week I have had a number of powerful counseling type conversations with people that the Lord has brought to me. I never seek these things out, so sometimes I don't "minister" in that way for a long streach. But this week I had 4 significant conversations in one day. And then some others on the other days. The difference is noticeable. I can sense a change in my own life.

So, to the story of the Oil Spill. I came home from work today with my mind full of the interesting conversations I've been having. I had a crock pot of beans and sausage that had been cooking all day, and the plan was to make cornbread to go with it. I went into the pantry to get the flour and cornmeal, and as I lifted them down, I knocked a bottle of olive oil off the shelf. It fell and shattered on the tile floor right at my feet. Olive oil and glass shot like a cascade across the kitchen floor, with glass shards as far away as 15 feet. I had oil on my foot and shoe; it was everywhere. I stood there paralyzed saying "Oh no, oh no!" because the mess was so huge. I took a step and almost slipped. I didn't know where to begin.

William came to my rescue with his Beylik Oil experience, and began unrolling TP onto the biggest puddle of oil. I began sweeping up glass. But this required moving the table and chairs into the livingroom. Madeline vacuumed the carpet on both sides of the kitchen. There was oil all over the floor, and even after Will got it sopped up and swept, I still had to mop everything. And while I did that for 20 minutes with really hot water and soap, I had plenty of time to reflect.

Oil is prophetic of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. I was experiencing a sudden outpouring of the Spirit, and it was a mess. It ruined my timeframe for dinner. I had to do a major clean up that I wasn't planning to do. And it happened when the glass bottle broke. Throughout my growth process over the last 8 years, the Lord gave me a picture of myself as a bird in a glass bottle. The bottle was something that I had constructed to protect myself from pain. I could see out, but I couldn't hear or feel. I have done the work of breaking that glass bottle and coming out. But today a glass bottle broke in my kitchen, and oil poured out. It got on my feet, and messed up my plans. I was really mad to be doing that project right then.

I think that the Lord is speaking to me about His plans for my future. I've entered the "new administration." I'm going to see the Holy Spirit poured out in unexpected ways, and its going to be inconvenient and mess up my schedule. I think this is also a picture for the church in general at this time. God wants to do something new. The Holy Spirit is messy. He doesn't stay convenient for us. He challenges our basic beliefs about how things should be. But what else matters? After fighting through the cleanup, I had a cleaner kitchen. That's exactly how the Holy Spirit works. His ministry messes things up, and then rebuilds them without the false stuff there. So, its worth it! I say, Holy Spirit, do what you want!

Monday, September 27, 2010

GOZ Snapshot

I'm home today on my day off, and I decided to watch the webcast of yesterday's services. I was busy all morning with nursery stuff, so I couldn't participate. I'm so glad I decided to watch! Both services are so powerful. Second service is a perfect picture of all I love about GOZ. Worship as a dance party. I read a quote once, "Never trust a leader who won't dance." Everytime I think of it I smile because at GOZ the leaders regularly dance. This service is a gem. I encourage you to watch. Its only an hour long, and you can get some exercise while you do!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

School Supplies

Every year, no matter what, I spend $150 on school supplies. I should qualify that. Every year since I moved to Texas. In California no one was asked to buy school supplies. But here the schools publish a big list and you are expected to bring it all in on Meet the Teacher night and put it in the class. California is a bankrupt state, and Texas isn't. So they are doing something right here. But it still kind of irks me that I have to search high and low for black Expo dry erase markers and bring reams of copy paper to school. If every child brings two boxes of 24 pencils, that should be enough, right?

One benefit of Will being a teacher is that he had a lot of 12X18 packs of manila paper left over from last year. So our kids are bringing the surplus and I didn't have to buy that.

Different stores run specials to get you in, so the last couple of years I've been trying to beat the system by hitting those sales and only buying the deals. Today I bought 5 packs of filler paper at Staples for 1 cent each. The rest were .78 each, but still...I got out of there with 20 items for $17.00. I felt a kind of vindictive glee because I paid less than a dollar for each item on average. I realize that I was resenting this required spending spree and beating the system gave me just a little sense of sticking it to the man. However we spent the rest of the budget at Target getting everything else, including a tacky Transformers backpack for Sam ($9.00) that he loves. The one from last year had holes in the bottom.

I'm glad to be done with this. Maybe next year I'll start earlier and hit all those weekly sales and maybe only spend $100, or even $80. I really feel that it should be possible. We'll see.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Just like that

Just like that, we're home. If you want to see a really consistent journal of the trip, see Will's blog. He's really good at it.

I'm glad to be home, but I never really got homesick. It's good to be in one place, and enjoy the peace of not moving. We had a great time on our five-legged trip: The DeHarts, The Cox's, Santa Rosa, Yosemite, and Flagstaff. We visited Disneyland, The Korbel Champagne winery, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, and one of our favorites, Slide Rock Park in Arizona.

This was our third visit to Slide Rock Park and I had the best time I've ever had. The rocks are covered with a tiny algae so they are very slippery. The first time we went we didn't have water shoes so we continually slipped. Not fun. The second time, the water was numbing and I had flip flops that kind of worked. This time we all got water shoes. Also, the kids were old enough to take care of themselves, which I realized was a huge factor in my enjoyment of the place. Imagine carrying a toddler and trying not to slip in the current! No wonder I didn't have fun! This time the water wasn't so cold, I wasn't slipping, and no one was scared. Wow. I got to do some water slides myself, and loved swimming in the deeper areas. I felt a personal victory in the fun.

We had a great time connecting with a majority of our family; we got good family photos with both the DeHart and Cox families. Something new for our wall.

The kids had countless new experiences. Sam went on his first rollercoaster (Space Mountain) and loved it. He proceeded on to Matterhorn and Thunder Mountain. The kids were just the right age to really take it all in and enjoy the trip. What a blessing!

Monday, July 05, 2010

On the Road Again

We're four days into our month in California, and each day has been eventful. The kids are getting to have lots of new experiences. Or, at least Sam is. The girls are remembering things. Days one and two were all about the drive, and we pulled into Whitter at 4:30pm on Saturday. The thing I forget about is how green and beachy Whittier is. Where you live there, you get used to the smell. But coming from Texas, and through the desert, the smell of the sea is so noticeable as soon as you get over the mountains from the Mojave desert.

We had a nice time with mom and dad, and went with them to Granada on Sunday morning. I loved getting to talk to Grandpa with his Cochlear implant for the first time. What a difference! Dad took us to lunch at El Pollo Loco after church and we stuffed ourselves on the special El Pollo Loco marinated chicken. And Horchata, which I miss. You can see dad and my containers of salsa, cilantro, and lemons for our tacos.

After a short nap we went down to Will's uncle Jim, Jock, and JR's house for the big block 4th celebration. It was an immersion into our Whittier past....tattooed gang-bangers, loud music, a pinata, nachos with runny cheese sauce, homemade carne asada, ceviche, and the best salsa I've ever tasted. Unfortunately I was still full from lunch, so I had to wait a while to eat. But I probably ate about a cup of the salsa. It had avocados in it, along with all the other stuff its supposed to. Mi Casita's salsa is the closest thing I can find to the real stuff in Denton, so this was a huge treat. In this photo you can see Abigail deep in the fray, soon to emerge with a treat bag filled to the brim with candy, a lot of which was her very favorite--Mexican lucas candy. Sam didn't try so hard, and only got half a bag. They spent some very pleasant time on the driveway trading with each other.

One of my favorite events was the arrival of the ice cream truck. First, we don't have those in our neighborhood. Second, this one had the most elaborate paint job I've ever seen. Someone's brother/cousin/uncle was a professional, and it looked it. The kids were sliding down a bounce house water slide on the front lawn, so we had to get cones in honor of vacation, Whittier, their childhood, and summer.

As the evening wore on the fire crackers came out. Everyone had lots of illegal ones, and the sheriff down the street had the other stash. Apparently he confiscates them, and blows them off at his own party with a bunch of his other cop friends. The key was to keep the illegals in the houses, and so the homeowners kept going back and forth bringing out more as needed. If the police come, and you don't have a big pile on your lawn waiting to shot off, he can't do much. So we had a Disneyland style show for about and 1 1/2 hours-most people sitting on the lawn, the brave principles lighting them in the street with blowtorches. Effective. Madeline got hit with a sooty something on the lip, and Abby got some flecks of something in her eye, but other than that all was fine. The kids got to blow off some Roman candles, and sparklers of course. I've never done the 4th like this and neither have they, so it was a great experience.

The grand finale was shot off, and then the police showed up. A few young guys slunk off and made a quick getaway with their under-aged beer when they saw him, and when he left they were back, case on shoulder.The police threatened to search the houses if he came back and found them doing illegal fireworks-that was going to expose them to a whole lot of trouble, so the show was over. We left for the 90 mile drive to Palmdale, pulling in at about 12:30am. The kids fell asleep in the car, and didn't wake up until 9am today.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Here come the Dollars

The Dollars are about 45 minutes away as I write this. Everyone was on pins and needles waiting, so I took a nap, and Will and the kids watched Rocky #1. They've watched the seems that this is the time in their lives for an introduction to that venerable series. They already knew "Eye of the Tiger" because of Wii Rock Band with the Petersens last summer. Before that, Will took the kids swimming, and I made Sam's Bday cake for Monday, and some banana bread for breakfast tomorrow.

I have also been doing cleaning projects around the house. I even hung the pictures differently above the piano, and in the living room. That project precipitated a spot painting project around the house, so now those little ratty white spots where things have bumped the walls are all better. Thank you Will.

I'm enjoying my summer schedule, which is work T-Th 9-4, instead of T-F 9-2. I'm able to stay later because Will is home, but then I have the benefit of an extra day with the fam. It's worth powering through that late afternoon nap time.

So, we're looking forward to taking the Dollars to church with us tomorrow, going to Rudy's BBQ, swimming, talking, playing. It will be fun.

Saturday, June 05, 2010


Well, we've made it through this week. Thursday was the last day of school for the kid; Will's last day was Friday. The last week of school is usually pretty busy-with class parties, lugging home books, stuff like that.

On top of that, we also had a fun Memorial Day party with the Petersens-we BBQ'd, swam, and took pictures. We continued the good-bye process, culminating in a group hug of crying children at the end. We were blessed with the Petersens' piano, and we traded refrigerators because they were leaving theirs with the house, and I had the brain wave of trading and leaving my not so nice one with their house instead. That was Thursday-we rented a Uhaul, and got two strong guys from church to do the loading and unloading of the piano and fridge. It was scary to watch the ramp flex and bend under all that weight. God bless John and Aaron (and Will and Darren) for their feats of strength.

I'm so excited to have the piano. Madeline has already been sight reading music from some books we have. The gift of that piano is going to have a big impact on us. I want to find a friend who can give us a group piano lesson or two so that we can at least learn how to position our hands correctly.

Friday was D-day. The kids and I went over to the Petersens' house and helped Jenn clean and pack. Her goal was the leave at noon, and they pulled out close to 1:00, so I'd say that was a success. More tears, but by this time we'd sort of worn ourselves out, so it wasn't too bad. We waved them off, and promptly went to Wendy's for frostys. That helped. By the time we'd made a few stops, we felt better.

So now, we have the summer before us. The Dollars are arriving in one week-today the kids worked on their rooms. Then, two weeks after they leave, we go to church summer camp, and then California right after that. The Lord knew we needed a fun summer to look forward to, and here it comes!

Sunday, May 30, 2010


There have been a lot of stirrings lately...but the most intense has been the impending departure of the Petersens to Oregon. Their decision to move has happened over about a month, or maybe less; Jenn and the kids have been planning to visit family there for the summer all year, but actually moving is a newer idea. You may remember my other blog in which I introduced them, and that doesn't feel so long ago. In fact, this last Christmas we celebrated our second "anniversary" of discovering them.

The move feels like the right thing, and we can clearly see the Lord's leading as they go. However, the loss of our best friends here is painful. Today at church they were blessed and prophesied over during the second service. Most people didn't know they were leaving, so there was a collective intake of breath as Keith announced it. We also had a party in the Jr High department, with a slide show set to---I'll bet you already can guess this---but you might be surprised it's still kicking---drum roll please---"Friends Are Friends Forever." Sigh. But wait. It was Stryper's version. Yes, Darren told me it was, but I thought he was joking, because Stryper covering MWS seemed so....I don't Darren's cynical humor. However, before I blogged in my ignorance I googled it and found the MWS cover album by Stryper. Wow.

So, I was doing all my usual Sunday duties with the Shreve nose in full bloom. Jennifer at least looked good when she wasn't crying. I carried the vestiges all day. It was so poignant to realize that this was the last day they'd be in church. That I won't be seeing them as part of the landscape is kind of shocking. In a way, I feel like we are moving too. Life without them will be like striking out afresh.

We've had 2 1/2 years of unprecedented friendship as couples. I've never known two people with whom Will and I are both able to connect like this. All the relational combos work between the four of us. Outside of Nathan and David, I've not experienced a guy like Darren. He feels like the brother I didn't have-Our childhoods had so many similarities it's crazy. And Jennifer feels like the best combo of my Aunt Luanne and my mom in the 70's. Things like wiping the kids' noses with their clothes, and heartlessly perscribing carrots when they're hungry. I've lived it. Of course there's more, but you get the point.

I'm excited for Darren and Jenn to move into the next place of blessing that the Lord has for them. And I know that He has blessings of us to as this place in our hearts and our schedule is opened up for new people and things. I know there is good ahead for both of our families. But this week is the hard part.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Reality Hits the Bus

The kids ride the bus home from school each day. I'm delighted to have free transportation, but lately the bus has been pretty unruly; kids have been saying inappropriate things, and acting up. I called the Denton ISD transportation department, lodged a complaint one day after an especially trying ride. I was irritated with the driver because he was not maintaining order. I know it's possible to have a calm, orderly bus because the lady who drove last year did a great job, and all the kids respected her. The bus people called back and said that they have to maintain safety, but can't regulate language on the bus. I understand that, but my bigger complaint was with the driver's inability to maintain order.

Last year, a boy on Madeline's bus said the F word on the way home, and the Good Driver got off the freeway, turned the bus around, and took them back to the school. When they got there, she took the foul-mouthed offender and marched him in to the principal's office and left him there. Then she drove the rest of the kids home. I was very pleased.

Today was not so good. There is a boy with emotional problems who decided to start spitting on another boy. They regularly are "fighting" on the bus, so that wasn't new. The bus driver, a former military man, told the boy to stop it. He didn't, so the driver stopped the bus, came back, and told him again-telling him that he wasn't going to ride the bus again for the rest of the year. The kid spit on him, and the bus driver slapped him on the face. The kid began screaming cuss words at him, and he slapped him again!

The spitter went and sat down, and the driver brought them home. Everyone was shocked, of course. Madeline came bursting in with the dramatic news, and I called to make a report. I was the second parent to do so, and probably not the last.

So, I was right in my first assessment that the driver doesn't know how to maintain order. I certainly understand his anger at being disrespected and spit on, but the whole event should never have happened. That child should have been banished from the bus for his behavior a long time ago. Hindsight.

Later, I got a call from the transportation department as they called every parent with children on the bus, and they're scrambling to alert all the authorities-child protective services included. And I know from neighborhood gossip that the police were at the boy's house this afternoon.

Man, I'm so glad I'm not that driver. He must have realized it was all over the minute he sat down in his seat. I can just feel that sinking stone feeling he must have now. The consequences of losing his temper are going to be with him for a long time.

And I'm hoping that the boy will have some repercussions too. It was time some reality caught up with him. Tomorrow, the bus will be a new place. And for the sake of my children, I'm glad.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Five Day Weekend and Disneyland tickets

I love living in Texas. We had snow on Thursday, and below freezing temps on Friday, so the kids and I were home both days. If it were to snow in California, the reaction would be the snow plows, so no one wants to drive. Here, it actually does snow, so we get to have a holiday or two. Here is a movie from our little crafting event on Thursday, thanks to the candy making kit that Grandma DeHart sent us. It took us about 20 minutes, and the rest of the day the kids played outside, watched movies, ate, read and relax. We also got a good one of the dogs freaking out about the snow.

We're planning a road trip to California this July, and I really wanted to take the kids to Disneyland. However, when Will sensibly pointed out that we'd be using a third of our budget in one day, I agreed that it didn't make much sense. However, I went to the Disney website to see if they had any deals, and I discovered the "Give a Day, Get a Day" program. You volunteer for a day, and earn a ticket to either Disneyland, or Disney World.

Last weekend, we went down to Fort Worth to volunteer. We worked with Project Linus, a charity that makes and gives blankets to kids in traumatic situations. I brought my sewing machine so I was able to put together about 7 blankets. We worked for four hours, and walah! Disney tickets are ours. It was fun for our family to volunteer together, and definitely worth the tickets.